Natural Hair: Hair Typing


In the natural hair community there is an ongoing debate about “hair typing” and its negative influence. I’m sure just about every natural will agree that they have more than one texture or “hair type” in their mane. I know that going along with the chart I am considered a 4c on majority of my head and in the very back I have a few 4b strands that choose to hang significantly lower than the rest of my hair. When wet my hair shrinks about 60% leaving me with what appears to be a newborn TWA. This proved to be difficult in the beginning but with time, trial and error, and most importantly patience I’ve learned how to manage and keep both textures healthy.

When I initially embarked on my natural hair journey I thought I was going to have long loose curls. Boy was I wrong!! I big chopped in January of 2012. I have had many cuts and trims during my 29 month journey. I use to cut my hair out of frustration because at the time very few bloggers on YouTube had textures similar to mine. Two years a go women with 4c hair were rarely advertised in the media. You always saw women with long bouncy loose textures that ALWAYS had the most effortless yet perfect twistouts! Frustration led me to researching more about my texture and what products were recommended and so on (products like Shea Moisture’s popular Curl Enhancing Smoothie do NOT work on my hair for its intended purpose). During this research phase I was introduced to hair typing which initially confused me but eventually led me to findings that proved to be very beneficial on my journey.

I don’t necessarily agree nor disagree with hair typing. I don’t like that looser curl patterns such as 2a-3c are placed on a pedestal and advertised as the face of natural hair. I personally feel that hair typing can be helpful to beginners and people who are at a standstill with their hair. It allows viewers to find people that have similar textures making the learning process easier. However, the dilemma arises when a hierarchy system is influenced causing women with tighter coils to feel like they are at the bottom of the pyramid. In recent years companies seems to be making products that ALL natural women can use. So yes maybe Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Soufflé doesn’t enhance your curls, have you thought about trying Cantu Curling Cream?

After embarking on this journey over 2 years ago, the best advice I can give is to ignore the categories and try what you think is best for you! Mainstream products aren’t always going to give you the same effect it gave your favorite beauty blogger. Do your research rather than going out and purchasing every product you saw on YouTube the night before. You’ll just be begging for unsatisfied results an a suffering bank account (take it from a reformed product junkie.)


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